Date:30th June 2011 at 11:09pm
Written by:

Rafael & Fabio Da Silva

In truth their fate brings to mind that of the Dark Lord ‘He who shalt not be named’  and ‘The Boy Who Lived’. One cannot survive while the other lives and likewise, it seems when one brother is in form and injury free, the other can’t get a look in and is found languishing on the sidelines. I’ve long held the suspicion that Fabio was a decent right-back and was featuring at left-back out of necessity rather than it being a specialist position where his best attributes come to the fore. In my opinion from what I’d seen of him, his left foot wasn’t all that great in a crossing sense and I did find it strange that many were so adamant that he was a left back and that is that.

Last season put that that myth to rest and he more than came into his own on the opposite flank.

One of them will definitely have a great season next year, which one I’m not too sure but for them both to have an excellent season, its going to take the usurping of Evra at left-back for that to happen, it’s possible but in my opinion unlikely as they’re both not what I consider natural left-backs, but both are first team right-backs next year in any case. Fabio’s coming of age performance v Barca cemented this notion and don’t rule out a regular call up for Brazil. by the end of next season

Areas of Improvement: Positioning, Reckless tackles, Ambidextrous Crossing, More impact in the final third, Showcasing more of their flair .

Anderson

Is it make or break next season? I’m not too sure, it depends on what expectations Fergie has of him, the signings we may possibly make in the midfield area and if so, whether Anderson finally finds himself a role in which he feels comfortable and better suited to his attributes.

In my opinion anyone who thinks Anderson will suddenly blossom into the PFA player of the year next season, ‘Do a Nani’, is expecting too much. Midfielders tend to take longer to mature than wingers, and are in their prime after the age of 25, whereas wingers can explode onto the scene even in their teens.

United’s first concern with Anderson should be getting an entire season out of him without injuries and niggles. Resting him when he need to be rested and supplying him with a regular run in the first team is crucial in developing him and judging once and for all whether he has what it takes to play for this club. He also needs to undergo an intense fitness regime in order to become more of a dynamo in the midfield.

Another season like this and it wouldn’t surprise me if Fergie did offload him, its time he showed serious progress, if not breaking through into the first team at least prove to the United faithful he can hack an entire season and be a reliable player when needed.

Areas of Improvement: Positioning, Stamina, General Fitness, Shooting, Set Pieces, Heading.

David De Gea

An expensive goalkeeping acquisition, in United’s case they don’t always tend to go well. That said, something tells me that the backroom staff have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to recruit the perfect keeper in terms of compatibility with United’s style and a like for like replacement for Van der Sar.

From what I’ve seen of him in La Liga and the Under 21?s, he is cool, calm and collected… just the right sort of personality for this current United side. We don’t really need a Schmeichelesque keeper anymore, as we’re not as loose at the back. Therefore a shot stopper in the Casillas mould isn’t what we need but rather a keeper who stays in the shadows, can concentrate for long periods and do the simple stuff without fluffing it under intense pressure. Hence why I genuinely believe De Gea was first choice even if Neuer was available.

On the floor he seems pretty decent, but then again any keeper playing behind Spain won’t be caught hitting the ball very long – that said, the fact he comes from the nation of Casillas and Reina bodes well and he isn’t no Valdes in that department trust me.

Areas of Improvement: Will have to up his aerial game in order to keep successfully in the EPL, Shot-stopping from long range.

Chris Smalling

I rate this lad extremely highly, in my opinion by far the most standout english talent at the recent U21?s and probably the best young defender at the tournament bar none. His ability to bring the ball out of defence and just keep the game moving forward under pressure is amazing, and its something which even the likes of Ferdinand are guilty of not doing enough of at International Level. and especially in the Barcelona final at Wembley where VDS was forced to kick the ball long on repeated occasions due to our defenders lacking the mobility and class in possession to take it to the catalans (granted abit of help from the midfield wouldn’t go amiss either).

Positionally he can get caught out when playing with less senior partners, but when alongside a Rio or a Vidic, he tends to excel and for this reason alone I really think he can cement himself as a first team regular as early as next year. Displacing one of Ferdinand or Vidic takes some herculean defending, but this lad is capable of those feats and many underestimate his talent, or shy away from just how much they’re taken aback by his performances in his short career to date.

Areas of Improvement: Positioning, Leadership, Long Range Passing, General Strength  & Aggression

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